According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the national unemployment rate could surpass 10 percent by the end of 2009. The article quoted Dallas Fed Chief Richard Fisher:
"I expect the unemployment rate to continue rising to a level that could surpass 10 percent by year-end," he says in the advance text of a speech in Tokyo."
The current nationwide unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent, a sharp increase from the 5.1 unemployment rate of 2008. An unemployment rate that surpasses 10 percent could prove financially fatal for most Americans who have one of the lowest savings rates in the world.
We are not prepared for massive job losses and we are not prepared to remain unemployed for any extended period of time. But this is what is happening. You see, when the unemployment rate rises like this, it means that more people are experiencing job losses and remaining unemployed for an extended period of time; but we are not prepared.
Predictions such as the one offered by Fisher may cause some debtors to feel helpless; but there are some actions you can take now to prepare yourself for a possible job loss and/or extended unemployment:
- Save money. Save as much money as you can now while you are still employed.
- Pay off debts. Pay off any outstanding debts, especially high interest debts.
- Consider bankruptcy. Find out what your bankruptcy options are just in case you face a job loss and are unable to repay your debts.